The DOJ's Truly Disgusting Argument For Denying A Megaupload User Access To His Legal Content

from the hey,-not-our-machines... dept

In the ongoing saga of what happens to all the data stored on the Megaupload servers, the Department of Justice has now filed a truly revolting argument in seeking to end the efforts by a Megaupload user, Kyle Goodwin (who uploaded and stored sports videos that he shot), to regain access to the content he uploaded.

As we've noted, there's been a lot of finger pointing going on here, with a bunch of highly questionable actions on the part of the government, including its repeated suggestion that all of this data -- which, remember, they seemed to think was evidence of a crime -- should simply be deleted. But what's so sneaky and duplicitous about the DOJ's argument here? They're saying that because they never actually seized the servers in question, this has absolutely nothing to do with them -- and that Goodwin would be better off suing Megaupload or Carpathia (the hosting company) or simply paying Carpathia to access the servers. Basically, it says that no one's stopping him... other than the fact that all the servers are offline thanks to the feds' own actions (but, please, they'd prefer you not remember that part). They actually seem to feign surprise that their own actions of seizing Megaupload's domains and all of the company's (and its exec team's) money, and arresting the entire senior management team... might lead to the site being shut down entirely.

Basically, it's as if the government walked into a china shop, smashed up every last piece, and then walked out. When the owner then sought restitution from the government, the government suddenly insists that since it didn't take any of the broken pieces out of the shop, there's no cause for action against the government. And all the smashed up little pieces are still there, so why would anyone complain?

Oh, and just to add totally obnoxious insult to injury, the DOJ also says that even if the court decides that there's some merit in the arguments laid out by Goodwin, even that doesn't matter, because it'll just cop out and declare "sovereign immunity" and avoid having to pay out. The whole thing is a fairly disgusting display by the DOJ showing just how far it will go to lock someone up once it's determined to. They will cause all sorts of collateral damage, and when someone calls them on it, they'll just point the finger elsewhere... all while demanding even more power to censor with impunity.


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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 10:10am

    This is one of my favorite brown nuggets FTA:
    the government said if the court grants Goodwin's request, it would open the door for any third party to petition the courts any time a search warrant affects them adversely

    In other words... "look, if you grant this, then everyone who ever has any property unlawfully confiscated by the government will come back asking for it."

    Oh, the humanity. Save us from ourselves!

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 10:21am

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      "In other words... "look, if you grant this, then everyone who ever has any property unlawfully confiscated by the government will come back asking for it.""

      No what it means is that, in the case of any seizure, third parties (whos goods or products were in the seized business at the time) would have the right to request return of those goods, regardless of actual ownership. The feds would then be forced to fight any number of lawsuits regarding ownership of the property in question, and deal with the resulting fall out.

      It just doesn't work that way, and cannot.

      Can you imagine criminal organizations using multiple companies to "own" everything in an illegal operation, and as soon as it is seized, they petition to get it all back, and re-open the illicit business the next day?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 10:29am

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        The feds would then be forced to fight any number of lawsuits regarding ownership of the property in question, and deal with the resulting fall out.


        I can see where that might be trouble in blind/blanket seizures like we have with MU. It would certainly give the government pause before they executed such indiscriminate property grabs. What's worse? They might even start asking their investigators to show probable cause before approving seizure.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 10:37am

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          Nah, think more simply: Feds seize a crack house. Inside the crack house is a TV and sofa owned by the defendant's mother, who lives next door. Should she have the right to reclaim this stuff without any issue? Isn't her problem with her son the crack dealer, and not the feds (who are just enforcing the law)?

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 10:48am

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            Should she have the right to reclaim this stuff


            Yes, uequivocably.

            without any issue?


            I would argue that losing the property then having to petition the court and waste your time pleading and waiting years for its return is issue enough.

            Isn't her problem with her son the crack dealer, and not the feds (who are just enforcing the law)?


            No, I would say her problem is her property was seized with the free-wheeling No-Fourth approach to drug enforcement in this country.

            I know there may not be, but there really should be recourse for your crack dealer's mother and Goodwin.

            Seized assets are caught up in massive 'losses' constantly. Something needs to be done to stop people with a government job from stealing from those without.

            R.I.P. Fourth Amendment.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 1:18pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Off topic, but God I wish people would stop victimizing drug addicts. How is imprisonment supposed to help them get over their illness and become productive members of society again? If somebody tried to advocate locking up AIDS or cancer victims, they'd be rightfully castigated, but for some reason, addicts don't count as people, or something. Baffling....

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 9:47pm

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                Yeah, but like crack cocaine and copyright infringement are the same thing. The pirates are addicted! And we have to save the pirates from their addiction which is why we have to throw them all in jail.

                To protect society, man!

                 

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            Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 10:51am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Should she have the right to reclaim this stuff without any issue?
            Well "thinking more simply" appears to mean "ignoring reality and making up somethign unrelated" but following the ludicrious analogy and making an attempt to adapt it to something that gets within at least a continent of resembling the facts of the situation;
            If the "crack house" in question is advertising itself as a furniture storage company and indeed operates as a furniture storage company in addition to whatever other activities it has and the woman is guilty of no crime in connection with the property and can prove she owns the TV and sofa... then "Yes.. duh!" is the answer

             

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              PaulT (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 12:11pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "If the "crack house" in question is advertising itself as a furniture storage company and indeed operates as a furniture storage company in addition to whatever other activities it has and the woman is guilty of no crime in connection with the property and can prove she owns the TV and sofa... "

              This is exactly the point that these people refuse to understand. Every single "infringing" service - yes, the includes TPB, Napster, MP3.com and all sorts of other services they've shut down over the years *without* any real effect on piracy - has perfectly legal, legitimate uses. As time goes on, and these services fill holes that the record labels, etc. cannot or will not service, there will be far more legitimate customers having their livelihoods or data destroyed because someone doesn't want to admit they have legitimate competition.

              The question should be - did the person who owns the property have the right to use the service in the way they did, and was there any real reason to think that what they were doing was not legal? If not, why should they be treated like a criminal just because the service they had every reason to believe was legal, and who used it for 100% legal uses turned out to have some dishonest customers?

              That's one of the reason why the idiotic comparisons to car theft and drugs will always fail. Nobody's ever bought crack thinking they're not participating in a crime. Uploading your own documents, that you have legally and completely created yourself? Oh, these guys won't argue that the RIAA has to jump through these hoops to prove their claims, but it's OK for non-corporate entities to have their own property destroyed to protect the profits of those companies...

              I'll argue all day long that people who use cloud services need to have local backups, but to be denied access to your own work because someone else committed a crime even if you could have made another copy? Unacceptable. Oh, and if the trolls want to argue that they be somehow required to make their own backups, congrats, you've just made one more step in understanding why these shutdowns will never work in the overall "fight" against "piracy". Try to think about why the digital copies you insist should be made would guarantee this.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 9:03pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                "This is exactly the point that these people refuse to understand. Every single "infringing" service - yes, the includes TPB, Napster, MP3.com and all sorts of other services they've shut down over the years *without* any real effect on piracy - has perfectly legal, legitimate uses"

                Paul, whatever "perfectly legal, legitimate uses" existed were dwarfed by the reality of the operation. Mega didn't make any real money storing people's data - they made money charging access to pirated content, plain and simple. Almost anything has some legal uses, the question remains one of scale.

                It's not a question of one user putting up a pirated file, and the whole thing gets shut down. It's a question of all of the main files being pirated, the business model being predicated on charging for access to these files, and the money flowing from the center to other companies to launder it. There isn't 150 million to be made offering people free backups.

                You can nod and wink all you like, but even you are smart enough to know what was going on. Why defend the obvious criminals?

                 

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                  techflaws (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 10:21pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Mega didn't make any real money storing people's data

                  Says you, it must be true then.

                   

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                  PaulT (profile), Jun 13th, 2012 @ 1:19am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  "Paul, whatever "perfectly legal, legitimate uses" existed were dwarfed by the reality of the operation."

                  Bullshit, yet to be proven in court - e.g. what were the "significant" illegal uses of mp3.com? You make assumptions in this area, but always seem to forget that people use these services perfectly legally - and the proportion of those using MU legally is greater than the proportion who used Napster, and that proportion is growing with each new service.

                  "It's a question of all of the main files being pirated"

                  Bullshit, unless you can define "main files" and provide proof. You can't, you only have your own assumptions in place of verifiable fact, as ever.

                  "There isn't 150 million to be made offering people free backups."

                  You are aware that Megaupload provided other services, which were utilised by people using the services legally, right? Or do you just choose to ignore those again because they interfere with your own predetermined view?

                  "You can nod and wink all you like, but even you are smart enough to know what was going on. Why defend the obvious criminals?"

                  I have a different opinion, and I'm only defending the innocent victims of this. Why do you attack bullshit strawmen instead of reality?

                  Stop making up crap about my opinion and start looking at what I actually write. It will help,.

                   

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                  Coyote, Jun 14th, 2012 @ 7:20am

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                  I don't think you understand exactly what Megaupload was, honey, so please stop talking about things you don't have any clue about. No one's arguing that Kim Dotcom himself was not a particularly scrupuluous fellow, but arguing that megaupload made money from allowing access to pirated content is not only ignoring the reality of the situation in order to conform to your corporate masters, it is ignorant of the reality of the situation in the first place.

                  Firstly: Megaupload's primary form of acquiring currency was through premium memberships, which held legitimate content. Not only did this legitimate content provide the majority of their revenue, it also provided its' users with many advanced features in return. Sure, the site had infringing content. So what? Every site to a degree ends up having it, the way the current law system seems to work. If you want to argue logical fallacies, here's one to digest: your entire brain is copyrighted. All those ideas and thoughts going through your head?

                  They were someone else's first. That means approximately 64.2% of your brain is copyrighted, and that means you're a criminal. Which means about 100% of the human population is a criminal. Where am I going with this?

                  See how my argument also falls flat on its' face? See how logically that makes no sense whatsoever, to even someone with half a brain? This is precisely what your argument for Mega's profit being made from pirated content reads like. I'd suggest not only ingesting common sense, but ingesting some articles from reputable tech news sources, especially if you refuse to believe Techdirts informed articles themselves, before spouting off your nonsensical, fallacial idiotic statements again.

                  Just saiyan.

                   

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            Jay (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 11:00am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Please look at the Magna Carta in 1215 and why the 4th amendment is something to be followed by the government.

             

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            The eejit (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 11:12am

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            The Magna Carta has this written in, and followed. The Magna Carta is one of the bases for the US Constitution, being a legally binding written docuyment that the ruling people have to follow.

            The fact that the DoJ is using an argument that is relevant by the finest of lines possible to deny a user access to his content tells you all you need to know about the people "involved" in this investigation. IT's a farce, and somewhere, the line fo abuse has to stop.

            In soem cases, that leads to a very short lifespan for the abuser.

             

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            Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 11:27am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            That is a terrible analogy.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 12:35pm

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              IMO the 'crack house analogy' is really only a partial misfit here (though legally it should be apples and oranges).

              The reason I say partial is that the DoJ is behaving in this case as if they are using the rulebook for distribution charges... i.e. there are no Fourth Amendment protections.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 5:16pm

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                The analogy is also fucked because a crack house has no legitimate business attached to it. As someone else pointed out this would be more like having your furniture in a seemingly legitimate storage facility and having it confiscated because the owners were alleged to be selling crack on the premises.

                More like the owners were alleged by competing 3rd parties to be responsible for random locals selling crack on their property. Or Storage A called the fbi and said Storage B is a bunch of dirty crack dealers and they know because they saw some guy that looked like a crack head run through the parking lot so the fbi came and picked up the entire property and put it on someone else land and demanded they throw it away or pay the taxes for it.

                 

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            Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 11:37am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            'Feds seize a crack house. Inside the crack house is a TV and sofa owned by the defendant's mother, who lives next door. Should she have the right to reclaim this stuff without any issue?"

            If she has the receipts, why not?
            Unless the government can prove they are using the sofa and tv as evidence (there's crack residue on the sofa or crack secreted in the tv), why would they keep it?

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 11:42am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              And really, Goodwin's not even asking for the sofa and tv back, he's just asking that you give him an identical sofa and tv. The government can keep the actual sofa and tv. Of course, that's not possible with a sofa and tv, but easy with his data.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 11:49am

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                Would you care to point to which of 1100 servers has his data on it? Can you show me his proof of ownership? Can you explain why the feds should spend a ton of money to try to locate his content?

                His issue is with mega or the hosting company, not with the feds.

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 11:56am

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                  Don't be retarded. The Feds are the ones who have control over who can access the data.

                   

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                  Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 12:43pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Would you care to point to which of 1100 servers has his data on it?


                  Oh no are you working the case?? This sounds real familiar somehow....

                  NA Judge:
                  Would you care to point to which of 1100 servers has infringing data on it?


                  DoJ:
                  *silence*... Uhhhhh.. *silence*... no?

                   

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                  The eejit (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 12:43pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Because otherwise, they're nothing but criminals themselves, under data protection laws.

                   

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            You joking?, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 6:15pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Yes, she should be able to get her tv and sofa back, as soon as possible taking into account any evidenciary value of the items.

            Why on earth does the government need or want to deprive someone of stuff they lent someone? It's not illegal to lend some stuff to your son or to have a son who is both legally an adult and a crack addict.

            It's mysterious why they would think they need to seize a tv and sofa even if it belongs to the crack addict, unless they genuinely believe it enabled crime acts or is the proceeds of crimal acts.

            What the hell do they want with a crack tainted sofa anyway? Are they going to sell that to some unsuspecting person who will then let their toddlers crawl all over it? Should they also seize the crack addicts clothes? Maybe auction off their under pants? It's not something I'd buy.

             

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            Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2012 @ 4:07pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            No, think more simply:

            Feds seize what they 'assume' is a crack house... unfortunately they get the address wrong and seize Charlie Sheen's house (lets pretend that it's NOT a crack house but the feds think it is because the **AA assured them that it was and that they would have the evidence planted by the time the Feds get there).

            Now Charlie Sheen's mother's couch and dresser are in his house. Should Charlie Sheen's mother be able to claim her rightfully owned property that was illegally seized by the feds in their bungled 'crack' house seizure?

            You are still 'assuming' that the case against MegaUpload isn't a load of crap that's falling apart with no evidence of this 'money laundering conspiracy'....

             

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        Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 10:58am

        Re: Re:

        No what it means is that, in the case of any seizure, third parties (whos goods or products were in the seized business at the time) would have the right to request return of those goods, regardless of actual ownership.

        What do you mean, "regardless of actual ownership"?

        Ownership of the data in this case is clear. The videos are not infringing on the copyright of anyone else. The guy who is suing is the rightful owner.

        If we translate this case into physical items, what the government seems to be saying is that if a criminal rents a car, uses it to commit a crime, and it is then seized, the car rental company cannot get it back. If the government wants to, it can destroy the car, or sell it off, and the rental agency has no recourse. That is ludicrous. I fully expect that in a legal seizure, the government could use the car for evidentiary reasons, but at some point they would have to give it back to the rightful owner.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 11:52am

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          "Ownership of the data in this case is clear."

          So he can produce an original copy to show that it is his?

          Oh wait, he doesn't have any backups, so it would be strictly his word, and nothing more.

          Yeah, that sounds "clear" to me.

          Having worked in the car rental world in the past, I can tell you that this is essentially correct. Cars are often seized as evidence and held for the length of the court case, and depending on circumstance, can in fact be sold by the state at the end of the process. It would depend on how the car was used (was it part of a hit and run, example, or was it just the car the guy was in when he was arrested).

          If something is in evidence, you cannot just claim it back. Doesn't work that way.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 12:28pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            then maybe if fucking should... I am sick and tired of the fucking excuses for the government to stick it to "the people" they are supposed to protect and serve, yet get on its knees to hum for the Corporations...

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 1:27pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              And if enough people get sick and tired enough (and who knows, maybe hungry enough as well), perhaps something will get done about it...

               

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            Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 12:47pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Oh wait, he doesn't have any backups, so it would be strictly his word, and nothing more.

            His word against whose? So the government is refuting his claim? Or another copyright holder is saying that the data is infringing? No? Then its clear.

            Having worked in the car rental world in the past, I can tell you that this is essentially correct. Cars are often seized as evidence and held for the length of the court case, and depending on circumstance, can in fact be sold by the state at the end of the process.

            Then that is ludicrous. I'm not arguing that the government might need to hold it as evidence if it is materially important to the case, but once they are done, then simple common sense means it goes back to the rightful owner (assuming third party unconnected to the crime). Anyone claiming to respect any form of property rights should be agreeing here. Completely ludicrous and needs to be changed.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 2:02pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Then that is ludicrous. I'm not arguing that the government might need to hold it as evidence if it is materially important to the case, but once they are done, then simple common sense means it goes back to the rightful owner (assuming third party unconnected to the crime). Anyone claiming to respect any form of property rights should be agreeing here. Completely ludicrous and needs to be changed.

              What a fucking hypocrite. You invoke the cry of property rights in the Megaupload case and spend the rest of your time as a piracy apologist. How about the creators property rights being protected from wholesale looting? WHere the righteous indignation for those property rights?

               

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                arcan, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 2:29pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                yes, HE is a hypocrite... when will you guys realize that there is a difference between DATA and PHYSICAL ITEMS. i can't randomly make a copy of a car and send it over the web. cars are solid objects. without a massive expenditure of resources it is impossible to create an identical version. copyright is an idea that is supposed to to grant a LIMITED monopoly (as opposed to a permanent do whatever the fuck you want monopoly which seems to be what you want) that benefits the PUBLIC. the artists benefit is only supposed to enter the equation as long as it still benefits the PUBLIC. the moment copyright or patents cease to benefit the PUBLIC they need to be thrown out. so stop being a moron and saying two things that are completely DIFFERENT, are the same. good day sir.

                 

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                JMT (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 4:00pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                "How about the creators property rights being protected from wholesale looting? WHere the righteous indignation for those property rights?"

                Why should you expect righteous indignation for something the public has less and less respect for every day? People only respect laws they believe in and can see working positively. Thanks to decades of constant ratcheting upwards of copyright laws by greedy rightsholders and then wholesale abuse of those laws at the public's detriment (of which this case is a perfect example), you and your ilk are really not in any position to demand respect. It's quite incredible for you to support the punishment of completely innocent parties because of the government's ham-fisted actions, while at the same time expecting us to be feeling sorry for you. You are completely deluded.

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 5:41pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Entitled much? It's entertainment douchebag. Not exactly something critical like food or water or shelter. Try getting by without it (as much of the world does) it may do you some good.

                   

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                    JMT (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 7:00pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Um, did you respond to the wrong comment? Coz yours make no response to mine at all.

                     

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                    duh, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 7:14pm

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                    Yes, it's entertainment so that's why it is unacceptable and inappropriate for such self important and self entitled trampling of my rights over the behaviour of third parties.

                    I don't have these problems with the producers and distributors of essential goods constantly trying to degrade my rights, and interfere in ways that will cost me more money (like putting the costs of protecting their copyright onto my ISP who will pass them onto me) or holding back innovation on the internet by trying to pass their copyright enforcement efforts onto other private companies such as Google, nor raiding the public purse trying to gain disproportionate resource dedication to their interests from tax payer funded entities, and perhaps worst of all, subverting international free trade agreement processes to usurp my country's rights to self government in democratic representation of the people, and hence the circumvention and degradation of my democratic rights.

                    For entertainment?!

                    I've stopped paying for this assault against my rights since the Dotcom raids, and would have stopped earlier if I had known what I have since learned, and there is still plenty of content I can legitimately access. More than I have time for to be honest.

                     

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                    Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 7:33pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Your shilltail is showing. Goodwin is asking for access to his legal content. Try again.

                     

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                  Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 5:48pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Bad laws are tremendously damaging to society both because they criminalize people who aren't really criminals, but also undermine people's respect for the law itself.

                  Copyright in this day and age is being used to syphon money from the general public into the coffers of a small bunch of entitled middleman who are entirely too used to playing the victim, and expecting to be compensated for work they didn't do, and business models which don't work any more. The sooner we get rid of these leeches, the better.

                   

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                Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 4:05pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                My point was calling anyone who claims to support property rights a hypocrite for not wanting this guy to get his data back from seizure by the government. I guess that hit a bit too close to home, eh?

                I respect physical property rights, and only physical property rights. I do not respect monopoly rights over any form of content, ideas, or data - that type of infinitely copyable information should be available to all - I have made no secret or excuse of that.

                I see no hypocritical aspect of disagreeing that copyright and patents are necessary, while at the same time disagreeing that the government can go and seize data and prevent the owner of that data from accessing it. When I copy a movie without permission, I have not stopped the movie studio from having use of that movie. In this case, the government has in fact prevented this guy from having use of his data.

                If you can point out a flaw in that view, instead of a strawman you are creating, please be clear on what it is. I have the ability to think critically of my views and change them if evidence and logic warrant it, unlike some others.

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 5:25pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Ahh, so you want to be able to own property, which is really just a made up way of splitting up the public domain, but you cannot accept any other made up system?

                  Josh, your stupidity is showing.

                   

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                    Gwiz (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 5:54pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Ahh, so you want to be able to own property, which is really just a made up way of splitting up the public domain, but you cannot accept any other made up system?


                    There is a difference between intellectual property and other types of property you might be overlooking.

                    The reason property rights exist in the first place is because a society agrees as a whole that property rights are better than the alternative, which is "might makes right" or "he with a larger arsenal wins".

                    One aspect where intellectual property rights differ from other property rights is in the "society as a whole" part. It's fairly evident that a good sized chunk of our society doesn’t respect intellectual property rights as they sit now. Maybe, as a society, we should be re-thinking what deserves protection.

                     

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                    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Jun 13th, 2012 @ 6:57am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Ahh, so you want to be able to own property, which is really just a made up way of splitting up the public domain, but you cannot accept any other made up system?

                    Physical property rights exist to allocate scarce resources. Real eastate, for example. There is a finite quantity of land on the planet, or in any country/state/province/county/city. If someone builds a house on a chunk of land, another person cannot use that same land to build their house.

                    This situation does not apply to infinitely copyable data. My copying of data does not prevent anyone else from using that data for their own purposes. So property rights do not make sense to apply to data. I don't accept or respect things that do not make sense.

                    Again, please point out the flaw in my view, instead of some strawman you are making up.

                     

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                      Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2012 @ 7:30am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      Josh, you continue to play word games. Real estate isn't a scarce resource, it's a common part of our culture and heritage. Why should you be allowed to have part of it to yourself, or worse, a business have rights to it and be able to charge admission?

                      Consider that there are literally billions of distinct pieces of real estate in the world, but only a few thousand new movies each year. Aren't movies even more scarce? No, not the copies of them, the originals. Infinite copying of a blank DVD gives you more blank DVDs. You aren't copying random 1s and 0s, you are copying a unique and rare thing, a movie.

                      If you are going to give some sort of exclusive rights to something that there are literally billions of (real estate) why wouldn't you give it to something that is many, many times more rare?

                      The flaw in your view is simple: You want the rights to own your house and have everyone respect it, but you are unwilling to respect the rights of artists and creators. You want it all, but you don't want to share what you have freely with everyone else.

                      Perfect example of the gen-y version of property: What's mine is mine, and what's yours is mine too.

                       

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                        TDR, Jun 13th, 2012 @ 11:28am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        Please illustrate, Green AC Shill 197, how two houses can occupy the same physical lot at the same time. And you are the one playing word games. The number of films, songs, etc. produced is not what we are speaking of. We are speaking of COPIES of content. DIGITAL COPIES which can be reproduced with virtually no cost as many times as anyone likes, so long as the storage space can hold it. Therefore, digital content is INFINITE.

                        To paraphrase from Red Dwarf:

                        Holly: How simple do you want this?
                        Rimmer: So shills can understand it.
                        Holly. Oh, dear.
                        Rimmer: It's difficult, I know.


                        So, I'll take you step by step. See if you can follow along:

                        1. You have a digital file. It can be anything—text, video, music, game, whatever. Copyrighted or not. It doesn't matter.

                        2. You hit Control+C on your keyboard. Or from the menu, File->Copy.

                        3. You navigate to the folder where you want the copy to be.

                        4. You hit Control+V on your keyboard. Or from the menu, File->Paste.

                        5. A copy of the original file is placed in the destination you chose.

                        6. Repeat steps 1-5 as much as you like. This can be done INFINITELY. The only limit is the size of your storage medium.

                        Now do you get it? And by the way, how much did you pay for that air you're breathing now? Paying for digital copies makes about as much sense.

                         

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                        Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Jun 13th, 2012 @ 11:35am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        Wow, accusing me of playing word games, and then doing it yourself (and badly, too).

                        The flaw in your view is simple: You want the rights to own your house and have everyone respect it, but you are unwilling to respect the rights of artists and creators.

                        These are fundamentally different rights about fandamentally different things. Scarce and non-scarce. Rivalrous and non-rivalrous.

                        If it was possible for everyone in the world to come and live in my house, eat my food, or use my internet connection without preventing my own use of those things, I would gladly do it.

                        You want it all, but you don't want to share what you have freely with everyone else.

                        I freely share my knowledge and expertise with those who ask. I'm sure you'll bring up that I get paid by my employer for those. My employer pays for my time - someone's time is a scarce resource - the time I spend working on specific projects. Once I'm no longer actively working on those things, I don't expect to continue getting paid. Artists and creators work hourly or on commission basis all the time. Its work-for-hire, and I have no problems with that.

                         

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                  Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 5:36pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  When I copy a movie without permission, I have not stopped the movie studio from having use of that movie. In this case, the government has in fact prevented this guy from having use of his data.

                  You are discussing two elements of a [potential] common wrong. You have unjustly and illegally enriched yourself. This guy has been deprived of property but no one has been enriched. The difference is that while your crimes are evident on their face, his lack of access may or may not be.

                   

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                    TDR, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 6:10pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Green AC 150, define "unjust enrichment." Using an empirical, non-industry source only. Provide a complete, step by step chain of causality showing with empirical non-industry data the specific damage done to a specific creator by the sharing of a specific copy of content at a specific time. If you cannot, then provide a complete retraction of everything you have ever said on this site. Now. Any other response, including silence and/or parodying/imitating this one, will be counted as such a retraction.

                    Unjust enrichment does not exist. It's merely a dodge to get around the digital, infinite nature of copies of content and avoid the realities of basic economics in favor of mercantilistic greed so large it would make the Ferengi jealous.

                     

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                      Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 6:55pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      Are you kidding me? Who the hell are you to set any conditions on anyone asswipe poseur? After you finish going and fucking yourself, look it up.

                       

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                        techflaws (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 10:24pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        Totally convincing. LOL.

                         

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                        TDR, Jun 13th, 2012 @ 5:53am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        Thank you for that retraction, Purple Shill AC. As I hope I've made clear, your side has NEVER, at ANY TIME, provided ANY evidence whatsoever that infringement causes ANY harm at all. So any claims that it does are automatically invalid. I suspect you fear to address arguments directly which is why you chose this line of assault. But as I said, it was not amongst the requested responses, and so it counts as a retraction of all you have said. Thank you for admitting you are and always have been completely wrong.

                         

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                    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Jun 13th, 2012 @ 7:30am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    You are discussing two elements of a [potential] common wrong. You have unjustly and illegally enriched yourself. This guy has been deprived of property but no one has been enriched. The difference is that while your crimes are evident on their face, his lack of access may or may not be.

                    I have not claimed that copying a movie without permission is legal. I'm quite aware that is against the law. But I quite vehemently disagree with your assertion that just because something is illegal means that it is wrong. I encourage others to break laws which are wrong, unjust, and unethical. I see copyright law as all of those.

                    As to the topic at hand, how can the government's actions not be wrong? They have seized and prevented access to this guy's data, then claim not to have seized it. The original seziures have been shown to be deeply flawed and have not followed due process. Even if they had followed standard sezuire procedures, we have many indications that those procedures are unjustly depriving people of the rights and property, so there is clearly a problem with standard seizures in a general sense.

                     

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                      Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2012 @ 4:10pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      I have not claimed that copying a movie without permission is legal. I'm quite aware that is against the law. But I quite vehemently disagree with your assertion that just because something is illegal means that it is wrong. I encourage others to break laws which are wrong, unjust, and unethical. I see copyright law as all of those.


                      Josh, I really don't see how you can defend enjoying the creative output of another who offers that product for sale in order to make a living without also compensating him. I'll never get that and if you think that is right, fair and just, I'll need a better explanation as to why it is not wrong.

                       

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                        Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Jun 14th, 2012 @ 8:15am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        Josh, I really don't see how you can defend enjoying the creative output of another who offers that product for sale in order to make a living without also compensating him. I'll never get that and if you think that is right, fair and just, I'll need a better explanation as to why it is not wrong.

                        I will compensate the creator if what they offer has enough value, if it is offered in a convenient manner and reasonably priced. I don't have a problem with paying creators for their work. I have a problem with a creator demanding that they deserve to be paid just because they created something. I have a problem with a creator having veto power (a monopoly or copyright) over any use, sharing, or modification of their creation.

                        Most people will pay for something that is valuable to them when the creators make it easy and convenient to do so. This is no different than physical products. I buy my fruits and vegetables at the grocery store because it is easier and more convenient than growing my own. The farmers grew them, had them packaged and shipped to the store, and the store makes sure they're not rotten. But what if the farmer decided they didn't like that. Instead of sending them to the grocery store a couple miles from my house, they insisted I had to drive to the farm 100 miles away. When I got there, all they would do was to provide me with one option - a 20 pound bag of apples - that I couldn't inspect beforehand - and there were no refunds if when I got home I discovered they were rotten. If I only wanted 5 pounds, tough luck - and I'm prevented from sharing or giving away the rest to my neighbor. If I got fed up with that, and started planting the apple seeds so I could grow my own apple tree, the farmer could come by and cut it down, then fine me hundreds of thousands of dollars. You wouldn't tolerate that - and I won't either.

                        In general I see that copyrights and patents are wrong. Why? Imagine this. In the near someone has created a Star Trek style replicator. It can create food at no cost, anywhere in the world. This would obviously threaten the profits of Monsanto. Are the profits of one company a good enough reason to stop this new invention from feeding the world? What if we add in all the other agri-business companies? Thousands of farmers who can't adapt to grow specialty foods for people who want "the real thing"? Do all those companies and people deserve some kind of protection against something wonderful? The answer to me is obviously not. Now, food isn't exactly the same as knowledge, ideas, culture, and entertainment - but it is only a matter of degrees. We have a wonderful invention, the Internet, that can provide all those things at little cost to nearly everyone on the planet. How can it be wrong to use it to do so, just because of some companies and artists who can't adapt?

                         

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                Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2012 @ 10:42pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                It's up to the DoJ to prove infringement. It is NOT up to MU to prove innocence. You keep saying there are illegal copies, but you aren't the judge of that. Because, well, you aren't the damned judge over the case. Anything you have stated as fact is pure speculation, and we're calling you on it. Keep flailing, it's totally working.

                 

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            jupiterkansas (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 1:06pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Except this isn't a car. This is data. They can make a copy and give it to the guy (with his permission, of course).

             

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            Any Mouse Covered, Jun 13th, 2012 @ 2:28pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Your analogy is good, but not entirely accurate. In addition to the car that was seized due to being directly involved in a hit and run, the state also impounded [u]all[/u] of the other cars parked along the entire length of that street despite the fact that none of them had anything to do with the incident in question. Do you honestly believe it would be ok for everyone along that street to lose their cars simply because the government says so?

            It's all about the collateral damage, which has been massive thanks to how poorly the government handled this case. The copyright industry would like everyone to believe that 100% of all the data on Megaupload's servers is illegal, but we all know that just isn't the case. Anyone who truly believes otherwise is a blind idiot to say the least.

            The only question that matters and desperately needs to be answered truthfully is whether the non-infringing use outweighed the infringing use. How much of the data is perfectly legitimate and legal? How much of it isn't? Then we need to decide which should preferentially be sacrificed for the sake of the other. In my eyes it's the legitimate data that trumps the infringing stuff.

            If you have no choice but to choose one, which is more important; protecting the innocent and allowing a few infringers to slip through the cracks OR punishing those infringers at the guaranteed expense of absolutely everyone else (who are innocent until PROVEN guilty by the way)? That's the crux of it. Logically speaking the choice should be whichever is the least damaging overall and it seems pretty clear which path that is.

             

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        RD, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 12:06pm

        Re: Re:

        "Can you imagine criminal organizations using multiple companies to "own" everything in an illegal operation, and as soon as it is seized, they petition to get it all back, and re-open the illicit business the next day?"

        Oh yeah, you're right! I would SO sue to get my COCAINE back because I used a shell company to "own" it so I could end-run a government seizure. Its FOOLPROOF!

        Really, do you even think before you speak? If you love overbearing, totalitarian government so much, why don't you just move to where they are and let them run your life? Leave the rest of us alone.

         

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        Amber, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 2:07pm

        Re: Re:

        No, you have it wrong. The government still gets to keep its evidence, unlike returning physical goods. They just need to get a copy of the data to Mr. Godwin. Remember? This whole lawsuit is about making copies, not stealing actual goods, although from the hyperbolic language around making copies of things, you'd think users making copies were like the Boston Strangler. Wait, no - that comparison was taken already in the VHS wars 20 years.. hmmm.... have to think of a new evil villain to compare music and movie lovers to.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2012 @ 3:27am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "you'd think users making copies were like the Boston Strangler. Wait, no - that comparison was taken already in the VHS wars 20 years.. hmmm.... have to think of a new evil villain to compare music and movie lovers to."

          Well, we now have the Miami Cannibal.

           

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        arcan, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 2:31pm

        Re: Re:

        you people really need to read stuff. like the word UNLAWFUL.

         

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        Rob, Jun 13th, 2012 @ 12:57am

        Re: Re:

        Only problem with that is that Megaupload isn't a criminal organisation. What happened to innocent till proven guilty?

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Jun 14th, 2012 @ 2:12pm

        Re: Re:

        There's no evidence that that's happening in this case, so I'm not sure why that's relevant. MegaUpload leased some servers from Carpathia and hosted Goodwin's data on them. Through some mechanism that I admit I don't entirely understand but that is attributable to the US government, the servers are not physically seized, but they are inoperable. It is the US government that has prevented MegaUpload from honoring their agreement with Goodwin to provide him with access to his data, and it's not unreasonable for him to say, "Whatever your feud with MegaUpload is, I didn't break the law and I want access to my data." The US government's counter to this appears to be, "You can spend thousands of dollars of your own money to go fetch it, if you want." They have changed the situation that Goodwin finds himself in, from access to his data to no access to his data, and it's a pretty obvious tort. Whether the law recognizes it that way or not, I don't know... laws are imperfect. But it's both right and reasonable that Goodwin should expect to be made whole, since he's not the one who allegedly infringed anything.

         

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    mikey4001 (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 10:13am

    As someone who bought into the idea four years ago that the Obama administration would in some way be better at this than the previous administration/s, I officially admit that I am a dumbass, I am a dupe, and I officially give up.

    we are doomed.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 10:15am

      Re:

      The sad thing is Obama is still the better option.

       

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        MrWilson, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 10:24am

        Re: Re:

        Yeah, as much as I loathe what the Obama Administration has done, just imagining what McCain would have done or Romney would do is enough to secure my vote for Obama as the lesser of two evils.

         

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          Mike C. (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 11:12am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Cthulhu 2012 - Why vote for the LESSER evil?

           

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          John Thacker, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 12:08pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I don't remember the previous Administration bringing any cases like this. Can you point to any? In fact, I remember the previous Administration successfully lobbying to "remove language tasking the Department of Justice with suing copyright and trademark infringers on behalf of Hollywood, the recording industry, manufacturers and software makers" in the words of Wired and others. (I also remember that TechDirt friend Wyden favored the bill claiming that it would, as he put it, "aid federal efforts to protect American producers and American jobs."

          On this specific issue (like prosecuting whistleblowers), the Obama Administration isn't "just as bad." It's worse. Definitely worse.

          You can claim that because of other issues you support the Obama Administration, and I would understand that. But you can't seriously claim that the Obama Administration is better or even just as bad on this issue.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 12:29pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          you know there is this thing called a third party right?

           

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            Yakko Warner (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 12:55pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Sure, if you want to throw your vote away.

            Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos.

             

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            drew (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 2:56pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            To quote The Simpsons "Go ahead, waste your vote!"

            Wait, was that fair use?

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 6:04pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              There isn't any such thing as a wasted vote.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2012 @ 3:57am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                "There isn't any such thing as a wasted vote."

                If the person you cast your vote for had absolutely no chance of winning, and the greater of 2 evils won, then... Yes, it is a wasted vote.

                However, this current 2 party system is this country's greatest problem, politically speaking.

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2012 @ 4:00am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  At the end of the day, both parties are bought and paid for by the same corporations.

                   

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                  Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2012 @ 2:38pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  You're saying people who didn't vote for the winner, wasted their vote. You are funny. lol

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2012 @ 3:23pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    No, that's not what I said at all. Try reading again what I actually did say.

                     

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                      Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2012 @ 10:49pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      Mmhmm... No chance of winning... Ergo, didn't vote for the winner... Sounds logical to me.

                       

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                        Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2012 @ 11:45pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        "Sounds logical to me."

                        To a simple mind perhaps. Go back a little further. This string was initiated by talk about third parties, which is what I was referring to. NOT the major parties, or losers in general. A viable third party that actually stood a chance of winning would be a great thing, but with the exception of Perot some years ago, no third party candidate has ever had a viable chance of winning a Presidential election.

                        I was not talking about McCain, Kerry, Gore, or anyone else who lost an election that actually had enough money behind them that they had a chance. I'm talking about the Ralph Naders of the world who NEVER had a chance. If it's a landslide election, it doesn't make much of a difference. However, any Nader voters in 2000 that would have preferred Gore over Bush wasted their vote. He didn't have the money behind him to pull it odd and he wasn't even on the ballot in every state.

                        Sheesh, I'm not even the one who brought up third parties or wasted votes.

                         

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                          Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2012 @ 11:48pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                          Errr.. "pull it odd" should be "pull it off".

                           

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                          Anonymous Coward, Jun 14th, 2012 @ 5:20pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                          Yes, thank you for belittling my intelligence while completely missing the point. Any vote is not a wasted vote. The only wasted votes are those that are not cast. The comments were belittling the third parties. The only reason they have lowered chances of winning are because they don't have the funding. Things can /always/ change, irregardless of what you feel you 'know.' Maybe if you put some deeper thought into the responses you got, you'd be more careful in the responses you give.

                           

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        Chris Rhodes (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 10:30am

        Re: Re:

        "Six of one is clearly better than a half dozen of the other."

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 10:32am

        Re: Re:

        I'd like to agree, I really would. Honest, it seems to make no difference who is President.

         

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          harbingerofdoom (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 11:07am

          Re: Re: Re:

          that is because as i have been saying for years now (starting with bush whom i did vote for) they are both opposite sides of the same exact coin.
          as such, they differ only in appearance.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 11:19am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Aha! Just like the Apple / Windows paradox.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 12:39pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              You mean Apple and Windows 8 the Jealous piece of shit?

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 1:09pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Lol kind of. I wasn't really referring to Microsoft trying to look like Apple, more that Apple and Windows machines are now made of the same components (Apple switched to Intel in 04 or 05, I forget) and just (kind of) appear different.

                 

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      icon
      :Lobo Santo (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 10:20am

      Re: Humassery

      Humans slip into and out-of a state of complete idiocy many many times a day.

      The amazing part is how we accomplish this without killing bystanders in the process.

      Being a dumbass sometimes isn't a huge character flaw, it just means you're human.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 1:32pm

        Re: Re: Humassery

        There's a saying, isn't there?

        "A person is smart. People are dumb."

         

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          Gwiz (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 7:35pm

          Re: Re: Re: Humassery

          "A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it. Fifteen hundred years ago everybody knew the Earth was the center of the universe. Five hundred years ago, everybody knew the Earth was flat, and fifteen minutes ago, you knew that humans were alone on this planet. Imagine what you'll know tomorrow."

          -Agent Kay, Men in Black

           

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      John Nemesh, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 4:37pm

      Re:

      Agreed! I had soooo much hope that Obama was going to change things...then we had ACTA, TPP, and God only knows what other "Executive Agreements"...less transparency than ever in our government, more abuses by the DOJ, and an administration that is taking every chance to expand executive powers at the expense of Congress and the Supreme Court!

      If they keep this up, there won't BE an America to save in 4 years!

      However, in typical fashion, his opponent this year is even slimier and more distasteful than he is...sigh!

      In the words of Professor Farnsworth: "I don't want to live on this planet anymore!"

       

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 10:15am

    Yeah, it's totally disgusting. The feds are telling the guy that he has to sue the company he was doing business with, and not the feds. That is horrible, making the site owner actually responsible for their customer's satisfaction.

    Sorry Mike, but the feds are right on this one. The only reason the feds seized the assets is because of the behavior of the company, which was flagrant and fairly well public. Any normal citizen doing due dilligence before selecting Mega as a storage medium would have been able to determine their notoriety and their "profile" online as a great place to put your infringing material. A quick search of google would turn up any number of questionable links.

    That this guy still chose to use Mega, and Mega exclusively for content that he truly valued, with no other backup or support in place, is a head shaker.

    His issue is with Mega, and not with the feds.

     

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      Jeremy2020 (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 10:20am

      Re:

      They told him to sue megaupload OR carpathia..the company they saddled with thousands of dollars a day tab to keep these servers running.

      Since megaupload no longer has access to the data...what can they do? That means the company trying to run a business, has already been saddled with a hefty price tag, should also be sued because the government doesn't want to deal with the problems with its case?

      Yep, I want to open a business in the US.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 10:32am

        Re: Re:

        Don't worry. The US is finished unless it undergoes a drastic, and frankly, unlikely change. Its government is rotten to the core. The country strives at all levels--cultural, educational, economic, legal, etc. to stifle progress, creativity, innovation, and critical thinking.

        They are done. They have enough momentum from the last half-century that it might take another decade or two for the nation to completely collapse, but momentum from the past is the only thing keeping it going. The engine was dismantled a long time ago.

        For those of you still living in the US, you might want to think carefully about moving out of the country within the next 10-20 years, while you still can. I can't say for certain exactly when the bottom is going to fall out, but when it does, it will be sudden, swift, and brutal.

         

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          Benjo (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 11:06am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Don't confuse the state of our Intellectual Property laws with our entire culture as a people.

          Besides, move out of the country and go where? Our theoretical decline would be part of a world wide decline.

           

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            The eejit (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 11:13am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            It's not ewntirely the people that are the problem: it's those running things that, for the most part, are traitors to the founding principles of the state.

             

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            Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 1:29pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Even when the U.S. was good at isolationalism, it was a figment of our imagination. Surely there is still self-determination, currencies and local market controls, but we're in a global economy and have been for quite some time.

            The supply and trade "chain" is an inter and cross-connected world wide web. When one node goes down, the rest of the web loses stability.

            If you want to "buy American", go buy a Chevrolet, or an Audi... makes little to no difference to the US economy as long as you're buying and driving it here. There are lots of American jobs depending on the Hungarians building those German engines.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 1:35pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Er... part of that doesn't look right... I was in no way wanting to liken the supply matrix and dependancies to the architecture of the Internet and its resiliency (which is much better than our supply chain).

               

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          RadialSkid (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 11:11am

          Re: Re: Re:

          For those of you still living in the US, you might want to think carefully about moving out of the country within the next 10-20 years, while you still can.

          And go where? There's no clearly superior option.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 12:06pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Actually throwing a dart at a world map and assuming you're lucky enough to miss some place the US is "spreading democracy"...

            Maybe not superior in terms of shiny stuff and reality TV, but almost assuredly better off...

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 12:35pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              You mean like the Control Freak Euro Zone (that looks to be collapsing even quicker), or better yet the ALL OF AFRICA being in the shitter (with few bright spots and lots of little tin hat dictators), or the best Bet-- China with its Great Firewall, and quick bullet to the brain (charged to your family) for breaking laws and look at Austrialia - Censorship and all...
              yea i think ill stay right here and fight to fix it, rather then run off to the turd world...

               

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              silverscarcat (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 12:37pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              It's either the U.S., an ally of the U.S., or a dictatorship/communist country that would hate you for being a former U.S. citizen.

              ...

              Yep, we're boned.

               

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              Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 12:47pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "Actually throwing a dart at a world map and assuming you're lucky enough to miss some place the US is "spreading democracy"..."

              So....no where?

               

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                BigKeithO, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 1:50pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                What is it about Americans that the mere thought of Canada never enters your minds?

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 2:08pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Because I keep hearing about them passing a lot of the same shitty laws and pretty much moving in the exact same direction as our government.

                   

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            Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 2:00pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "And go where? There's no clearly superior option."

            If that continues to be the case, then perhaps the best advice is to buy a gun and learn how to use it--for your sake and for your family's sake. You might find yourself in need of it one day.

             

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              arcan, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 2:36pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              honestly i think another world war is looking better everyday. this planet needs a massive upheaval to not destroy itself.

               

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                Aaron, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 3:13pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                The thought of another world war should terrify any person.

                 

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                  arcan, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 4:54pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  you think it doesn't? the problem is that we got 2 options that i can see. the system of today is so far gone that i don't think we can fix it. so we either continue on the current course and guarantee destroy ourselves. or a massive upheaval happens and we MIGHT destroy ourselves.

                   

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                  Ed C., Jun 12th, 2012 @ 5:17pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Yes, but what is the other alternative to the mass oligarchical enslavement of mankind?

                   

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                  Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 7:53pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  This war won't be one the people choose. It will be a war that will be thrust upon them eventually, when the center can no longer hold. At that point, the only possible choices will be combat, slavery, or death.

                   

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            Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 2:00pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "And go where? There's no clearly superior option."

            If that continues to be the case, then perhaps the best advice is to buy a gun and learn how to use it--for your sake and for your family's sake. You might find yourself in need of it one day.

             

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          ano, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 2:00pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I second this, and what i find scary for the Americans is that when people from other countries predict a future , like with Bush, they are normally correct, the international community has been known to know more about the American situation than Americans know apart from a few internet savvy people who have spent the time to learn the truth, but even some of them still believe America is the land of the free.

           

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      :Lobo Santo (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 10:22am

      Re: Dorkromacy

      You, Sir, are an idiot, and a shill.

      Kindly leave and fellate a legislator rather than darkening the enlightened forums of techdirt with your blather.

      Good day.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 10:23am

      Re:

      Troll harder. Megaupload is a company providing a service. It allows users to upload files for backup and collaboration. How is Megaupload any different than Rapidshare, Mediafire, Dropbox, or for that matter FedEx?

      Furthermore, since there are significant non-infringing uses for such a service (as this very article demonstrates), how is Mega in any way liable for the actions of its users? I don't recall VCRs being made illegal back in the day (despite the best efforts of MPAA lobbying), even though they also made it possible to copy media.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 11:34am

        Re: Re:

        You are trying to argue the Mega case, which is really not very relevant as this point. The seizure of assets was done by court order, and unless noted otherwise, is for the moment "legal".

        However, you may want to get more familiar with the Mega case before making the VCR argument, because it makes no sense in the light of how Mega was doing business. But hey, if you want to stand there and wave your arms frantically and yell random bits of Techdirt garbage, go for it. But it doesn't address the issue of the post, nor does it do a very good job of trying to justify Mega's business model.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 12:38pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Well if you want to stand there wave your arms and just shout attacks and shill responses with out specifics, just go right ahead sunshine... the laugh at your expense is worth it.

           

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      ltlw0lf (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 10:23am

      Re:

      Sorry Mike, but the feds are right on this one. The only reason the feds seized the assets is because of the behavior of the company, which was flagrant and fairly well public. Any normal citizen doing due dilligence before selecting Mega as a storage medium would have been able to determine their notoriety and their "profile" online as a great place to put your infringing material. A quick search of google would turn up any number of questionable links.

      Please show, with specificity the following: 1) What information contained on Megaupload was in violation of the law, and 2) Where someone could go to find information on Megaupload and other sites online that will allow them to determine that the sites are questionable. The government can't seem to provide the answers to 1 in a court of law, and it is doubtful you'll even try to provide answers to either.

      Many of us used Megaupload for uninfringing uses and some of us were even caught off-guard by the raid and the shutdown. Sure, the RIAA/MPAA kept saying they were evil, but the MPAA called VCRs evil and it is doubtful anyone was really listening to them (except the supersekret arm of the government who is a pawn to the international/multinational cabal.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 10:34am

        Re: Re:

        To answer:

        1) See the complaint by the Feds.
        2) Google.com

        If I can search a site and find "DVD RIPZ" and software crakz on there, I would say they are questionable. It's would be enough of a red flag to either (a) not do business with them, (b) not trust them exclusively with your valuable and irreplaceable content, or (b) all of the above.

        Using mega for non-infringing purposes doesn't eliminate or mitigate it's other uses. The risk factor is there, and anyone choosing to ignore the risk and store their irreplaceable content there gets what they deserve, I guess.

         

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          ltlw0lf (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 10:58am

          Re: Re: Re:

          To answer:

          1) See the complaint by the Feds.
          2) Google.com


          That is a new definition of the word specificity I was unaware of. Thanks.

          As for the other crap you said, the Supreme Court disagreed with you in the case of MPAA vs the VCR, so I will ignore you as the idiot you are.

           

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          Richard (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 11:02am

          Re: Re: Re:

          You refute your own comment - by your logic we shouldn't risk doing business with Google.

           

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            The eejit (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 11:14am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            no, by that logic we shouldn't even be allowed to turn on our computers, as they might be infringing. IT's a ludicrous argument that has less merit than a shit on a weasel.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 7:49pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              The eejit is right, you know. Computers copy. That's what they do. It's what they were designed to do. We can't be safe until every computer on the planet is either outlawed or locked down by those in charge.

               

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          Cory of PC (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 11:05am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Those two sources aren't good enough. Please provide some evidence to back up your sources, because I know for certain not all of us will believe what the government's complaints are and there's multiple sites other than Google that will gladly provide more information about Mega.

          And a minor point, you put (b) twice.

           

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            Lowestofthekeys (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 11:11am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            The way you tell a troll from someone who enjoys basic discussions is that the former is too lazy to actually research and backup what they say before they say it.

             

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            Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 11:23am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Cory, you miss the point. We aren't looking for absolute proof (as in legally culpable), but rather what and end user might see before deciding to place irreplaceable content with a given service.

            We aren't deal with absolute, beyond a reasonable doubt proof here, just mitigating your risks.

            Then again, the guy would have been wise to use more than one "free" backup service, and possible to actually have his own backups of his material.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 11:33am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              He did have a backup, which was lost right around the time that criminal mastermind, the Dotcom, was apprehended by USA! USA! USA!

              But yeah, the guy should have used multiple sites dedicated to the flagrant violation of intellectual property rights to store his own intellectual property.

              Lessons learned.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 11:35am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                No, he should have used legal backup services for his valuable work. Clearly, he didn't value his work very much if his only true offsite backup with a site packed full of infringing files.

                Sorry, I have no pity for the fool.

                 

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                  Cory of PC (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 11:43am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Really? I value my work as much as my life, and if the site that I was using was seized and I can't get any of my legitimate files back, then it's likely I'll file some lawsuits to get those files back no matter what it takes.

                  Sorry, I have no pity for a troll.

                   

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                  Colin, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 11:53am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  No, he should have used legal backup services for his valuable work.

                  So MegaUpload is illegal? Glad you've got this case all wrapped up! You should share whatever evidence you have with the government because they clearly don't have it.

                   

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                    [citation needed or GTFO], Jun 12th, 2012 @ 12:06pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Remember when "innocent until proven guilty" used to mean something?

                    Yeah, me neither.

                     

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                      Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 6:00pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      Well, it serves the guy right for not living in a country that cares about justice. He should've moved. I have no pity for him.

                      (/s - I just wanted in on the "blame the victim" thread...)

                       

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                  [citation needed or GTFO], Jun 12th, 2012 @ 11:53am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  "legal backup services"

                  Name one "legal backup service" that can't be accused of being used for storing infringing files.

                   

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                  Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 12:32pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  There are no legal backup services. They all violate intellectual property laws. I was being sarcastic.

                   

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                  arcan, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 2:40pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  by the definitions you guys have been using for legal. there is no such thing as a legal backup service. hell making a backup at home is probably not legal.

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 6:06pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    I make backups of data while i smoke weed - may as well violate two stupid laws for victimless "crimes" at the same time...

                     

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                  Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 5:03pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Could you point me to one of these legal backup services?

                  Because I've used all the legal backup services around and they've all been accused of the same thing Megaupload has been accused AND NOT CONVICTED OF.

                  Rapidhsare. Hotfile. Mediafire. Megaupload. Fileserve. Etc. Heck, I'm worried my backups on Google Drive won't soon disappear into the nether. Considering the fact that I actually can share any folder/file with anyone I want and then some. Heck, I can do the same with the Skydrive that goes along with a Hotmail account I have.

                  Heck, according to you shills/trolls anything that can't guarantee 100% non-infringement and DOES NOT go above and beyond what the law requires is NOT legal and obviously is purely for infringing purposes.

                  But seriously, point me to a legal backup service and I'll gladly use it. Of course most have made it so their services are not available to anyone in the U.S. because of the Megaupload disaster, but I'll wait while you think one up. I'd also like an explanation for why it is "legal". No rush. Whenever you're ready.

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 6:13pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    To those bozos, "legal" actually means "stuff that I do, or want to do". That's all they really care about...

                     

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              Cory of PC (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 11:39am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Who said anything about "absolute" proof? I didn't say anything about "absolute," just something. It doesn't matter what it is, as long as it exists and you can use it to back up what you're saying.

              And really do I care about the legality of things? For me, if I were to use any form of online storage, I could have the "hard" copy of it (i.e. the original file) stored on a personal storage media (be it CD, flash drive or external hard drive), and the "soft" copy will be in that storage service. Now, I lost all of my data and it's lucky that I remember what my ideas were, but I couldn't make a back-up of those important files for multiple reasons. If I did made some back-ups, I would have used an online source to store those files and I would have also used multiple flash drives to keep those files safe in case something were to happen to my online files like Mega.

              Do I care when it comes to legality? No. Sure the Internet is a shady place and I can't trust everyone that I meet, but I got to follow what I believe in, not in what someone else tells me too. If I can find a free place to safely store my files and have the accessibility to get those files any time, any place, then I'm satisfy with that service. If I don't trust that service, then I will move on to the next place and see I could find a better deal. This sort of thing will not go away no matter how many people complain. There will be others that will use this service and it will continue to live.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 11:54am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Cory, the point is that legality is always an issue, no matter how we do things.

                Would you, example, store your furniture at a storage locker place, when the lockers on either side of yours are being used to sell drugs, and the main office is working as a fence for stolen goods? You likely would not. Why would you do the same online then?

                For legality, I look at it this way: Mega's business model wasn't to be your free backup site, there was no money in it. So where were they making their money? People paying to download large files more quickly. What are those large files? Well...

                you can guess the rest.

                 

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                  ltlw0lf (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 12:05pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Would you, example, store your furniture at a storage locker place, when the lockers on either side of yours are being used to sell drugs, and the main office is working as a fence for stolen goods? You likely would not. Why would you do the same online then?

                  Dude, think, then post. It works better that way.

                  Most of us don't possess x-ray vision or surveillance equipment, and thus cannot confirm that the storage lockers across from us are being used to sell drugs or the the office is a fence for stolen goods. We are not supermen, unlike you claim to be, and we actually have to take someone's word. Sure, if people said, hey, there are drugs in that locker, we might move. However, the police (and I know this from personal experience,) would never shut down the locker company because drugs were present in one of the lockers. They would seize the drugs, process the locker for evidence, but shutting down the company unless the company was complicit would not be done. And if it was done, they wouldn't hold everyone's stuff hostage unless they knew that everyone was complicit and could prove so in a court of law.

                   

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                  Cory of PC (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 12:05pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  What about ads? A good majority of those who used Mega had to deal with ads, no matter if they are paying for a service or not and what kind of service they have. You can't just say that Mega was making money on just uploading/downloading files (though I know you weren't...). Then to go along with what you're saying, if I were to see some advertisement for this real-world company and look into what they are offering, then discover what they were doing... there is that likelihood I would refuse their service and will have someone investigate it. Online? That's a different story.

                  ... But then again, there is a difference between digital copies and physical copies.

                  Like one commenter posted above me, if there's "free, legit" sites out there, can you point one out to all of us? I'm actually curious about this.

                   

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                •  
                  identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 12:41pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  What were those large files?

                  I don't fucking know, maybe they were:

                  Game demos
                  Free games
                  Mods to games (yeah, some are as big as 500mb, I have a few)
                  Movie trailers
                  Freeware
                  Shareware
                  etc
                  etc
                  etc

                  But somehow I don't think thats what you were trying to suggrest, despite the reality of the situation.

                   

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                •  
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                  JMT (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 4:14pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  "Would you, example, store your furniture at a storage locker place, when the lockers on either side of yours are being used to sell drugs, and the main office is working as a fence for stolen goods?"

                  Of course not! As soon as I read the signs out front that said "STORE YOUR DRUGS HERE!" and "ILLEGAL GOODS BOUGHT AND SOLD!" I would've run away and found a place that didn't have those signs. Coz I'm as smart as you...

                   

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                  techflaws (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 10:29pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Mega's business model wasn't to be your free backup site, there was no money in it.

                  So that's why Dropbox is failing so hard! Thanks for clearing that up.

                   

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                  •  
                    identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2012 @ 4:37am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Lol. I love this comment. So simple (and sarcastic) and yet it completely shoots down the AC's comment.

                    techflaws yet again you get right to the point and make an AC look like the idiot he is. [tips hat to you]

                     

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        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 11:43am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "If I can search a site and find "DVD RIPZ" and software crakz on there, I would say they are questionable. It's would be enough of a red flag to either (a) not do business with them, (b) not trust them exclusively with your valuable and irreplaceable content, or (b) all of the above."

          1) Why are YOU looking for "DVD RIPZ"?
          What are you planning to do with it?
          2) The fact that you have to search for it indicates that the site's owners aren't promoting it and the software may be on there WITHOUT their knowledge.

           

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        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 11:47am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Gets what they deserve?!

          Let me twist your argument as much as I can - Suppose I find myself in a neighborhood that 'everyone knows' is bad - The kinda place where you can find drugs, counterfeit watches or girls selling lemonade without a business license. If I get get my briefcase confiscated by the police while they're shutting down the lemonade stand, it's my own stupid fault for being too close. Yes? I shouldn't get my briefcase back. I should have known better than to bring it into such a seedy neighborhood.

           

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        •  
          identicon
          arcan, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 2:38pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          you have 2 of the letter b options

           

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 10:24am

      Re: Masnick should be happy with this filing.

      They've basically given the green light for Megaupload to go back up.

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Eric, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 11:24am

      Re:

      So, based on your argument, it the feds get a search warrant of your apartment complex, and in the process the feds burn down the apartment complex (through failures to take reasonable precautions that they should have known), then your issue is with the apartment owner and not the negligence of the feds.

      That argument has failed a number of times in a court, and this one should also fail. The feds should have known that this action would impact lawful users of this service and should have taken the correct precautions to prevent undue harm to the lawful users.

       

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    •  
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      dwg (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 11:42am

      Re: "His issue is with Mega..."

      That's great. So he should sue Mega to get his stuff back, despite the complete impossibility of that remedy? Much better that than going to the only party capable of giving him what he rightfully owns and wrongfully lost, especially when that same party is the one who lost it for him.

      Yea, I see your logic.

       

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      Bryan (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 12:15pm

      Re:

      I gotta respond to this:

      "Yeah, it's totally disgusting. The feds are telling the guy that he has to sue the company he was doing business with, and not the feds. That is horrible, making the site owner actually responsible for their customer's satisfaction."

      I would agree with this if the site owner hadn't had its ability to satisfy the customer completely blocked by the DOJ.

      "Sorry Mike, but the feds are right on this one. The only reason the feds seized the assets is because of the behavior of the company, which was flagrant and fairly well public. Any normal citizen doing due dilligence before selecting Mega as a storage medium would have been able to determine their notoriety and their "profile" online as a great place to put your infringing material. A quick search of google would turn up any number of questionable links."

      A quick search of any storage locker would turn up any number of questionable links. Your point is? While Kim Dotcom was flagrant and public, that doesn't mean that the Feds get to go in and destroy the ability of ALL legitimate users to access their legitimate data. The Feds could have used the same logic to seize all of the Carpathia servers, not just Megauploads. After all, Carpathia's servers were being used to store infringing material, were they not? Remember, Carpathia owns the servers, not Megaupload. The Carpathia servers are the actual property being used to commit the crime. Why stop there?

      Let's take this to a real world example. I rent a storage unit in a sketchy part of town (the rent is cheap). There are gang tags everywhere. I put my things in my rented unit. The storage facility has also rented to gangmembers who happen to use their storage units for less than legal activities. The Feds raid the storage facility, and seize everything. The reasoning for this is that the storage facility is making profits off of the illegal activity of the gangmembers. My things are seized as well. The Feds won't give me my things back arguing that my things are still in the storage facility that has been seized, and therefore it is not their problem. Oh, and the last bit of information? The town is Hong Kong, and US Federal law does not apply there, but the payment processor is US based. Does this sound familiar? Obviously, it isn't a perfect analogy, but it is pretty close. The storage facility did its job and kept my items safe. I just can't retrieve them because they are "seized" by the US. I don't seem to have much beef with the storage facility.

      "That this guy still chose to use Mega, and Mega exclusively for content that he truly valued, with no other backup or support in place, is a head shaker."

      I can't disagree with this statement, but hindsight is 20/20. Most people don't develop a comprehensive back up plan until they have lost important data.

      "His issue is with Mega, and not with the feds."

      His issue is is with the Feds.

      Bryan

       

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 2:42pm

        Re: Re:

        How can you not disagree with that statement? If someone is using Mega to backup their files, why would they need another backup service? How is it in any way reasonable to blame someone for not backing up their files that they backed up to a backup service?

         

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    •  
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      TtfnJohn (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 12:49pm

      Re:

      Nice to see you willing to convict while only hearing one side of the story. Not that I'm the least bit surprised.

      As the servers are in the United States and seized by the United States Government which implies at least temporary ownership of the servers and data on them belongs to the United States Government as we would with the seizure of physical objects. Which leaves only the US Government and/or Carpathia.

      As Megaupload has no business at this moment, no cash flow and little chance of having any of that soon there is no point in suing them. I guess he could try to sue DotCom in New Zealand if there's much use while he's in custody.

      So the US government it is as the current, if temporary, owner of record of everything Megaupload.

      Perhaps once a court case begins in the United States, should DotCom be extradited from NewZealand, we'll hear what happened here from both sides. For the moment we're only hearing one side and that from the extradition hearing in New Zealand which doesn't fill me with confidence that the authorities actually HAVE a case.

      Perhaps once day as you troll you'll find someone here who will completely agree with you other than bob.

       

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  •  
    identicon
    anon, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 10:18am

    Should renamed it "Department of Injustice".

     

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    •  
      icon
      silverscarcat (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 12:42pm

      Re:

      Can we name the leader "Lex" or "Joker"?

       

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    •  
      icon
      Violated (profile), Jun 13th, 2012 @ 11:44am

      Re:

      I have always called them the "Department of Punishment" when it fits well with that they do.

      Just look at this one when they want Mega and Carpathia to be sued, they wanted users to have their data deleted, they want Mega to lose the information needed to protect themselves, then don't want Mega to have their money to pay their own lawyers.

      I could do on but it is all we don't like you so punish, punish and more punish. This is of course total injustice.

      Now they even go as far as "Damn the Courts and their Justice! We are the US Government and we can do anything we want!" And I so remember Obama promising us that he would respect the law much more than his predecessor did.

       

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  •  
    icon
    blaktron (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 10:19am

    The real question that should be asked here is:

    "Why on EARTH does the US government have ANY say whatsoever about the contents of servers half way around the world??"

    Your government is on a clear quest for world domination that would make Dr. Evil jealous.

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jun 14th, 2012 @ 5:57pm

      Re:

      Because they weren't 'half way around the world.' They were based in the US. The business wasn't, but the data was. This by no means indicates that I agree with anything the DoJ has done.

       

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  •  
    icon
    Mr. Smarta** (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 10:21am

    Expect anything less?

    Did you really expect anything less from the US Government? The same people that accuse people they're running against of being tax money wasters, selfish money grubbers, and probably pedophiles? The same people who promise transparency and then go back on their word? The same people who 'protect' whistleblowers while simultaneously crucifying Wikileaks? The same people who swear to represent the American people while simultaneously working as the RIAA's and MPAA's little lackey because they received a few extra million in their swiss bank accounts? The same people who declare they represent freedom of the people while taking away rights guaranteed under the US Constitution? The same people who blind themselves to laws and rule in favor of giant corporations while sh*tting on the little guy whenever they damn well please? The same people who swear they're being conservative in spending tax dollars as they 'triple dip' into retirement funds that cost the people billions per year?

    You mean those people?

    Did you really expect anything less from them? We don't vote them into office. They put themselves there under the disguise of the "voting system". Welcome to America. Land of the almost free and home of the corrupt politicians.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 10:22am

    Actually, this would be a better example of what the government is doing.

    -You (MegaUpload) open up a storage shack, and get lots of customers, things go great for a few years.

    -One company (RIAA) who's products you're letting customers store at your shack, decides that you should be arrested for theft, since some customers stole some of the products you're letting them store. So they get the DOJ to come in and arrest you and seize your whole storage shack for possessing illegally stolen property.

    -Your landlord (Carpathia) meanwhile is suddenly not getting monthly rent checks from you, but the courts decide to keep all your stuff locked up in the storage shack, which keeps your landlord from kicking you out.

    -Your customers meanwhile want access to all their stuff locked up in your shack. The DOJ insists that the whole storage shack should be burned to the ground to destroy all the stolen goods.

    -Eventually the DOJ changes it's tune a bit and says the customers can pay your land lord for access to something they already paid you for.

    -Seeing a chance to turn a money pit into a money maker your landlord decides to basically take over running your own business, while you still rot in jail for running the same business!

    Hmm... now who's the real thief in this situation?

     

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  •  
    icon
    Justin (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 10:40am

    How about this

    How about instead of saying DOJ, we call out the person that is making these terribly decisions? There is a person or group behind every decision. It is not really the DOJ that is making this call, but rather a bunch of out of touch old men. So lets start making them feel a little pain for being terrible at their job.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 10:48am

    J

    The department needs to be reminded what the J stands for.

     

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  •  
    icon
    Brent (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 10:50am

    i'm upset about this ruling, but given the corruption in all other parts of our gov't, i'm not surprised. To me this just proves the the corruption has infiltrated every branch of the system. It seems to indicate our 'checks and balances' system doesn't work, at least not in relation to a singular topic backed by one group that has enough money to 'make it worthwhile' for everyone directly involved, regardless of their level/position.

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 12:03pm

      Re:

      "i'm upset about this ruling"

      This is just the argument the DOJ is making, it isn't the ruling. Although, my guess is the government will win the argument.

       

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      •  
        icon
        Brent (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 1:30pm

        Re: Re:

        good catch on my wording. Though in this case "someone" has already lost since this guy is losing money by not being able to access his property, i'm just not sure who won yet..

         

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 10:59am

    Yeah, this is a hoot. The US broke it's own laws to start with to initiate this confiscation action and while not proven yet apparently got the NZ police force to file wrong paperwork (I suspect they knew it was wrong, making it fraudulent to allow the actions they desired to happen).

    Suddenly the US thinks it's not responsible for the actions it has taken. Even the trolls here try to point to responsibility for ones actions, making this just a pure slimy move by the US that really knows better but doesn't want to accept the responsibility for it's actions and the cost it will bear for them.

    So how long is it before we start hearing that everything dealing with net hosting, internet services, starts moving to other countries? The US has done some crazy things lately but these sort of actions are not only going to break the net as we know it but will leave the US outside looking in, ranting and panting like a child from it's own short-sighted actions.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    DogBreath, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 11:31am

    Immunity...

    Oh, and just to add totally obnoxious insult to injury, the DOJ also says that even if the court decides that there's some merit in the arguments laid out by Goodwin, even that doesn't matter, because it'll just cop out and declare "sovereign immunity" and avoid having to pay out.

    The DOJ and other governments can claim all the "immunity" they want, but sometimes the people get tired of their shenanigans, and bite them their hind quarters.

    Case in point: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AwB5SCpQv9U

     

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  •  
    icon
    ECA (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 11:33am

    I REALLY HAVE TO ASK...

    has anyone come to the RADICAL idea/thought that SOMEONE/SOMETHING is pushing to bankrupt this country threw STUPID legal battles?

    Iv seen to many STUPID situations happen, city/county/state/fed that all Lead to the Gov. being sued and loosing money. OUR MONEY..

    Or..

    Are we just HIRING IDIOTS for the jobs and to represent ourselves?? Are we, REALLY, hiring the lowest common denominator to do our representative and justice in this nation??

    recently we got rid of a mayor(?) that was taking money from 1 part of the town and dividing it up for OTHER uses. AS there was supposed to be an accounting in each year, and NONE was done for many years.. The AG came in and cleaned things up..
    BUT, unless you wish a civil battle with the EX-EMPLOYEES(mayor and others fired) there is no real recourse for getting those monies back..

     

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    icon
    Spaceman Spiff (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 11:47am

    Sovereign immunity?

    What? When this assault occurred on foreign soil? This is just SO wrong! Eric Holder and all his fellow conspirators should be held criminally accountable for these assaults on all involved!

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 12:30pm

    So, did the DOJ just give tacit approval for Megaupload to be put back online?

     

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    icon
    gorehound (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 12:37pm

    The Feds have frakked up their case right from the getgo.If you have followed this case from the beginning you will know that the Feds are wrong and it is to late for them to go back and do their case the right way.
    I hate our government !!!

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 1:10pm

    So let me get this straight

    If the feds have admitted that they are not party to the servers disposition, then anyone who is not Kim Dotcom or Mega Upload could pay Carpathia money to put these servers back online for a week or so, in order for people to download their shit? And the feds would be OK with this apparently?

    I smell a Kickstarter campaign.

     

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  •  
    icon
    AdamF (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 1:12pm

    I don't think so

    I think that Mike went a little too far with this one. There is nothing that the government can do. Megaupload's assets are seized as "stolen" property and cannot be released until the trial takes place. Government also cannot touch Megaupload's other property beyond seizing stuff covered by a warrant.
    Carpathia could certainly step up and with Megaupload's permission make the data accessible. However, this would cost money and Megaupload is not in position to pay. Perhaps some nice guy in Virginia is prepared to volunteer a week or two of his time?

     

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    •  
      identicon
      John Thacker, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 1:17pm

      Re: I don't think so

      Except that Megaupload's assets were seized illegally, no? They were shipped out of NZ to the USA even though a NZ judge had ordered them to remain while he examined the warrant.

      Perhaps the situation would be different if there were a valid warrant, but I don't see that applying here.

       

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        The eejit (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 1:39pm

        Re: Re: I don't think so

        Dude, the DoJ won't move anything to other places, citing jurisprudence issues. why the fuck does anyone listen to the DoJ at this point?

         

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 2:03pm

        Re: Re: I don't think so

        The hard drive copies shipped to the US were locally in NZ, but the servers hosting the sites were located in Ashburn, VA at Carpathia's colocation facilities. Basically this means that the US had improperly seized his personal data and the extradition to the US is in jeopardy. MegaUpload is a foreign company (HK) means that we can't hold the company liable as we don't have any jurisdiction to prosecute, so the only trials that can take place would be against the individuals.
        The scary part is that if this argument has any merit to the Courts, we've just doomed the whole sector of Cloud computing in the United States, as any reasonable person would look to host their data in a more friendly environment.

         

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        AdamF (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 5:43pm

        Re: I don't think so

        As far as I understand, the data is and always has been on hard drives in Carpathia facility in Virginia. This is the only reason the data could be seized. As you said, a criminal charge against a foreign corporation is quite dubious. It is unlikely a NZ judge would have issued a warrant.

        The warrant was approved by a judge in accordance with established procedures. Therefore, it is valid and legal until overturned.

         

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 1:43pm

    People saying sue megaupload are talking nonsense. If Megaupload could have given the data back they would have. Its the federal government that isn't giving up data and its due to the RIAA and MPAA saying the servers infringe.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 1:59pm

    USA is not a free country anymore.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 9:17pm

    Since when has the U.S. government cared about "collateral damage"?

    Who did you vote for in the last election?

     

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  •  
    identicon
    anon, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 11:19pm

    You know, once upon a time, I was happy to be a kiwi, living in New Zealand.. but now the whole world knows, even our police force and government are corrupt.. Not Happy!

     

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  •  
    identicon
    I wonder, Jun 13th, 2012 @ 3:39am

    Al Queda was right

    I wonder if perhaps Al Queda is right and the US government is the biggest terrorist organization in the world.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Digitari, Jun 13th, 2012 @ 10:29am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Well, everyone KNOWS the the US Congress and Senate have legitimate uses; However everyone also knows what the lobbyists are for, so why do we still allow this to happen with a wink and a nod, and a 7 trillion dollar debt? it's Obvious to anyone what they are really doing and anyone that would trust or work with them deserves what they get.....



    (I just had to fix this)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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